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"AudioLust & HigherLove": The New SG Lewis Album w/Selected Tracks, "FTOF" (For Those Over 40)
Pop-friendly dance tracks, fully-deciphered for the millennially-impaired (approved by the Big Bad Baby Boomer Board BBBBB). Not responsible for the "Huh?"s and😱s from those under 20.
Just before dropping his new album, AudioLust & HigherLove, in January, SG Lewis revealed that the record will draw on influences as artistically disparate as Daft Punk and what’s come to be known as “yacht rock,” or the generally softer side of 1970s classic rock!
In fact, it had been reported that Lewis discovered the wonders of yacht rock by stumbling onto Steely Dan and Hall & Oates (and, presumably others) during lockdown!
In January, Fresh by wing’s wing joined me in an article collaboration heralding Lewis’s progression in the biz, and how some of the “old school” principles are noticing to the point of eagerly collab-ing with the 28-year-old Brit:
In fact, it was the imposed alone-time during pandemic lockdowns that specifically infused this recording (produced by Lewis): “Instead of taking inspiration from things externally, this album is a lot more introspective in its processes; its thoughts, the song topics, the feelings are more from an internal perspective because that’s the nature of isolation that was enforced upon us,” Lewis revealed in a recent interview with ReadDork.com.
Lewis led with two tracks from the album to “test-drive” them in clubs, “Missing You,” and “Something About Your Love.” The former is certainly a synth-driven mover, but, true to Lewis’s self-revealed influences, is not without a catchy melody. With his lady love having split, though, he reveals to his gone gal—to a throbbing dance beat no less—that…
Oh, I'm not missing you
Like how you want me to;
Oh-oh, I'm not missing you
Like I'm supposed to.
Quite a different reaction to a missing love than the one that frequent yacht rock passengers, Hall & Oates, offered with their “She’s Gone” lament in 1973: Both performers were undergoing romantic problems at the time their song was written.
A 1985 Rolling Stone article said the song was about Hall’s divorce from wife Bryna Lublin, while VH1’s Behind the Music episode on the duo showed Oates explaining it was about a girlfriend that stood him up on New Year’s Eve. Either way, neither Hall nor Oates could’ve been anywhere close to the cavalier attitude at the loss of their paramours that was copped so easily by Lewis.
The difference in generations? Maybe. Centuries? Possibly. “Missing You” was written by Lewis, Ed Drewett, J Moon, and Reuben James. SG also provided synth programming and drums.
“Infatuation,” clearly a physical yearning under the AudioLust heading, kicks off the album after a brief instrumental intro. A medium-tempo (oh, but still danceable, kids!) admission of “loving you too much,” Lewis teamed with Drewett and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (or TEED, or Relatively Average-Sized Still Breathing Orlando Tobias Edward Higginbottom for…uh, short…now I get the “Dinosaur” thing) to write “Infatuation”:
To these ears, the song sounds fairly similar, in overall construction, to Roosevelt’s “Yr Love”; certainly has the same BPMs.
My recent spotlight on the 32-year-old singer/songwriter, Marius Lauber, the German synth-popper, can be found here:
Atmospheric and expansive, Lewis takes a stab, and an ultimate leap, at sophistication, both in composition and lyric, and he wears it well. SG reveals a confident falsetto here, as he does throughout AL&HL.
As producer, Lewis, on this track, makes deft use of digital flanging, a “phasing” sonic-swoosh sound you can hear toward the end of “Another Life,” and learn more about here, as 3/4 of the “Nathan Jones” covers employed (sometimes analog) flanging.
You’ll hear strings, too, and likely, as I did, assume they’re synthesizers! While one may be employed to augment, you’re actually hearing swelling cellos, played by Ian Burdge and Chris Worsey. Lewis co-wrote with Julian Bunetta and Drewett:
“Lifetime” aka “The Hit Single”
Sublime, classic pop songwriting. It bounces, it flows, and features fabulous harmonies (take a bow, Ed Drewett and J. Warner, who co-wrote with SG and J Moon), beautiful electric piano by SG, and those swirling strings (OK, the ones programmed by synth!)….and, it’s an insistent earworm, with the song actually starting with the chorus (after a brief intro)!
And, what a happy, positive chorus it is:
I've waited for a lifetime
To tell you I love you
I've waited for a lifetime
To tell you I love you now
If I’m wearing the A&R hat, I’m releasing this tomorrow as the next single. If it’s 1978, I’m throwing this to either Air Supply or Pablo Cruise, and lettin’ ‘em fight over it.
Performing “Lifetime” on The Tonight Show, January 18, 2023 is a start!
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